Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

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Friday, 27 June 2014


Cards on the table; I`m what`s commonly known as a Eurosceptic and have been since I could spell the word “politics”. We read all too often that up to 70% of are own laws are based upon legislative directions coming from Brussels in one form or another. I suppose the directives on driving licenses are a case in point. At one time not so long ago EU driving licenses were valid for a year for settled immigrants or until application was made for a provisional UK license. Things are much different now for incomers from the EU; such individuals can drive in Great Britain on a full, valid EU driving licence until age 70 or for 3 years after becoming resident in Great Britain, whichever is longer. I am unsure how the authorities define “resident”. It would appear that at some time or another incomers from the EU had to pass a British driving test which is probably the most difficult of all within the EU. It seems logical that many would try to manipulate the system to avoid having to surmount this hurdle. When it comes to EU drivers of any nationality being banned in the UK  I have discovered there is an apparent anomaly or loophole in the system.

Last month a second generation unrepresented Maltese man was before us for driving whilst disqualified. He pleaded not guilty at the first listing on the basis that he had, since his UK license was taken from him, passed a driving test in Malta and was therefore entitled to drive on that. Consulting the books the L/A and CPS prosecutor were unable to determine whether there was indeed an EU directive worded in his favour and the case was listed for trial in September.

When government spokesmen deride the figure of 70% of our legislation being EU based it is matters like the above that they conveniently overlook. I would argue strongly “roll on referendum 2017” were it not the case that no government will allow a fair vote if it fears defeat eg Syrian intervention revolt shocked the Tories to the core. The Scots got theirs only because Cameron thought it impossible for the Nats to succeed.

Perhaps Mr Loophole has the answer?


  1. This must be an old and fairly common problem. Which suggests either a low quality information system making the answer hard to find or a low quality legislature not having addressed an obvious problem. Either way we taxpayers must waste our time and money - again. I wonder what a French or German magistrate would have made of it.

  2. I've disqualified a number of EU license holders for totting up (the points being accumulated on a shadow/ghost license). Whilst I cannot revoke their foreign license they are disqualified from driving in the UK. So they can drive in any EU state except the UK for (typically) six months.